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CPAP Full Face Mask Reviews

32
Full Face CPAP Masks Considered
55
Hours of Research
5
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

Many people with OSA rely on positive air pressure therapy, or PAP therapy, which delivers a steady ventilation and helps. Continuous PAP machines, or CPAP machines, are bedside devices that provide pressurized air at a fixed rate throughout the night using breathing masks that connect directly to the generator.

Several mask types are available. CPAP full face masks, one of the most common types, are particularly useful for people who sleep with their mouths open. Despite their name, CPAP full face masks may also be used with bi-level positive air pressure machines, or BiPAP machines, which deliver air at different rates for inhalations and exhalations, and are typically prescribed to patients with CSA.

Best Full Face CPAP Masks

This guide will look at some general characteristics of CPAP full face masks, buying considerations, and our list of the top-rated full face mask models. Our top picks are listed below. These choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as our own product research and analysis.

Our Top 6 Picks

The Best Full Face CPAP Masks – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Fisher & Paykel Forma Full Face Mask

Editor's Pick – Fisher & Paykel Forma Full Face Mask

Highlights

  • Silicone seal prevents air leaks
  • Padded with contouring foam
  • Equipped with air diffuser
  • Enhanced chin support
  • 90-day warranty
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Editor’s Pick Overview

The Fisher & Paykel Forma Full Face Mask – our Editor’s Pick – is a standout product for several reasons. The mask is designed with a resilient silicone seal to prevent air from leaking during the night. It is also cushioned with FlexiFoam, a material that provides comfortable contouring regardless of the wearer’s head size.

The Forma Full Face Mask also benefits sleep partners thanks to a built-in air diffuser, which prevents air from blowing onto other areas of the bed. The mask’s headgear includes a chinstrap for added jaw support and optimal breathing throughout the night.

At less than $90, the Forma Full Face Mask is priced lower than many competing models. The product is also backed by a 90-day warranty.

Runner-Up Pick – Philips Respironics DreamWear Full Face Mask

Runner-Up Pick – Philips Respironics DreamWear Full Face Mask

Highlights

  • Minimally invasive design
  • Interchangeable cushions
  • Lightweight silicone frame
  • Excellent visibility
  • 90-day warranty
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Runner-Up Pick Overview

Our Runner-Up Pick is the DreamWear Full Face Mask from Philips Respironics, which offers a minimalist design that is less bulky and invasive than many competing models. The frame is made of soft, lightweight silicone, and the breathing mask is designed to rest underneath the nose, rather than covering it (as most full face masks do). These features allows side, back, and stomach sleepers to utilize the mask with minimal discomfort.

The pillow cushions can be swapped out, which may prolong the masks’s lifespan, while magnetic clips make the headgear very simple to remove. Thin straps provide good visibility, as well, making the mask more comfortable for people who wear glasses.

Philips Respironics backs this mask with a 90-day warranty. In addition to the full face model, the DreamWear is also sold in nasal cradle and nasal pillow designs.

Most Comfortable Mask – Philips Respironics Amara Full Face Mask

Most Comfortable Mask – Philips Respironics Amara Full Face Mask

Highlights

  • Lightweight, comfortable frame
  • Standard and gel cushion options
  • Adjustable forehead strap
  • 4 size options
  • 90-day warranty
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Most Comfortable Mask Overview

A common complaint about full face masks is that they are bulky and heavy, which can cause head/neck pain and other discomforts for sleepers. The Amara Full Face Mask from Philips Respironics is a notable exception. Thanks to its lightweight frame, the mask does not weigh the head down or cause neck strain for most wearers.

Customers can choose from standard or gel silicone cushions, both of which can be attached to and detached from the mask with a simple one-click mechanism. The headgear also includes adjustable forehead support, which can help prevent sleepers from developing nighttime headaches.

Buyers can choose from Petite, Small, Medium, and Large sizes. The Amara Full Face Mask is also backed by a 90-day warranty.

Best Mask for Women – ResMed AirFit F20 for Her

Best Mask for Women – ResMed AirFit F20 for Her

Highlights

  • Airtight seal around mouth and jaw
  • Cushioning nose bridge prevents marks and discomfort
  • Contouring chin support
  • 3 size options
  • 90-day warranty
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Best Mask for Women Overview

Many women find that unisex full face masks tend to favor men’s facial dimensions. For this reason, many manufacturers offer ‘for her’ masks designed to accommodate a woman’s facial structure, which tends to be narrower and shorter by comparison. Our top pick for this category is the ResMed AirFit F20 for Her.

Recognizing that women’s dimensions can vary significantly, the mask has adaptive wings for an adjustable fit. It also features stretch-fabric straps that contour to the wearer’s face regardless of its dimensions. Another strap cradles the chin for added jaw support.

The mask is available in three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. It is backed by a 90-day warranty.

Best Lightweight Mask – ResMed Quattro Air Full Face Mask

Best Lightweight Mask – ResMed Quattro Air Full Face Mask

Highlights

  • Soft fabric frame
  • Ventilated elbow
  • Dual-wall pillow for extra padding
  • Simple headgear adjustments
  • 90-day warranty
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Best Lightweight Mask Overview

Constructed with a soft rolled-fabric frame, the ResMed Quattro Air Full Face Mask weighs just 3.3 ounces, making is considerably lighter and easier to wear than most competing models that use silicone or plastic headgear. The Quattro Air is also has a dual-wall cushion to pad the bridge of the nose and prevent red marks from forming.

The elbow joint linking the mask to its connective hose is ventilated with tiny holes to help the CPAP user breathe more easily. This feature also directs air away from the user and their sleep partner, which can cut down on nighttime disruptions. The mask consists of four easily assembled components, making it easy to put on and take off, and the flex-wing forehead adjustments allow users to wear the mask without forehead pads.

The Quattro Air is reasonably priced compared to other full-face masks, making it a good option for value-seekers. ResMed offers a 90-day warranty.

Best Visibility – ResMed Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask

Best Visibility – ResMed Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask

Highlights

  • Hybrid design
  • Dual-wall mouth cushion and nasal pillows
  • Headgear clips for easy on/off
  • Effective seal without feeling overly tight
  • 90-day warranty
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Best Visibility Overview

Many full-face mask users complain about poor visibility and limited line-of-sight when wearing their mask. The ResMed Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask is technically a hybrid, as it covers the entire mouth but uses nasal pillows, rather than covering the entire nose. The result is a mask that offers complete visibility while providing the heavy airflow delivery of a standard full-face mask.

The mask is also very comfortable, thanks to a dual-wall mouth cushion over the seal and a soft nasal pillow for each nostril. The forehead straps fit at the crown of the head without intruding on the forehead, which prevents red marks and also makes the mask easier to wear. Disassembling the mask is simple thanks to its headgear clips, while built-in vents allow air to disperse without blowing onto the CPAP user or their sleep partner.

Due to its innovative design, the ResMed Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask has a higher price-point than many competing models. The mask is backed by a 90-day warranty.

Buying Guide – How to Shop for a Full Face CPAP Mask

Sleep apnea — a condition affecting millions of Americans — is characterized by a temporary loss of breath during sleep. Most apnea episodes last 20 to 40 seconds, but people with the condition may experience up to 100 or more episodes per night.

There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is caused by physical impediments in the breathing passages that restrict air circulation; and central sleep apnea (CSA), which occurs when the brain cannot properly transmit signals to the breathing muscles.

There is no known cure for sleep apnea, but many patients alleviate their symptoms with continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) therapy. This therapy involves CPAP machines, devices that draw in outside air, humidify it, and pressurize it before delivering the air to sleepers via a connective hose and face mask.

This guide will discuss full face CPAP masks, one of the three main types. Read on to learn more about full face masks in terms of construction and pricing, how they differ from nasal cradle and nasal pillow masks, and prescription requirements for first-time buyers.

Designs and Features of CPAP Full Face Masks and CPAP Machines

Components: As the name implies, CPAP full face masks are designed to fit snugly over the user’s nose and mouth. Most full face masks feature five primary components:

  • The frame, which refers to the breathing apparatus.
  • The cushion, which refers to the membrane around the frame that creates a more comfortable fit for the wearer.
  • The elbow port, so named because it is shaped in a right angle, is an opening that attaches to the connective hose leading to the generator.
  • The headgear, which refers to the straps used to secure the frame to the wearer’s head.

An airtight seal is required over the nose and mouth for effective air delivery. To ensure the mask is not uncomfortable, full face masks models feature extra cushioning around the perimeter that maintains the seal while also providing a more comfortable fit. The cushion may be made from different materials, such as cloth, gel, silicone, or foam. The cushion is usually replaceable.

The elbow port may be longer or shorter. Additionally, some elbow sports may be swiveled 360 degrees; this allows the mask wearer to adjust their sleep position without compromising the connection to the hose.

Headgear straps are located at the jaw, and wrap around the back of the head to connect at the base of the neck. Additional straps may wrap around the forehead and connect in the same place; this is known as forehead support. The straps are secured with buckles, ball-and-socket joints, or hook-and-loop closures to ensure they won’t come undone during the night. Some models feature a dial that allows wearers to adjust how tight or loose the mask feels in small increments; both straps will tighten or loosen simultaneously as the dial is turned.

Sizes: Full face mask frames are usually available in Small, Medium, and Large sizes to accommodate users with different facial dimensions; the headgear may be sized differently based on the size of the frame. Some models are also available in dedicated male and female designs, as well as those made for users with relatively small or wide faces.

It’s important to note that any type of face mask will be compatible with most CPAP machines, provided the hose offers a secure connection between the mask and the generator. Furthermore, the mask has no bearing on the airflow rate, humidifier capacity, and factors related to other components of the machine. For most, mask choice comes down to two factors: comfort and budget.

Care: Cleaning full face masks is fairly straightforward: simply apply an alcohol wipe to the interior and exterior of the mask, as well as the straps. Never, under any circumstances, should a CPAP full face mask be washed or laundered in a machine. The cushion and complete mask should be replaced periodically (unless the cushion is not replaceable); Medicare allows users to replace the cushion every three months, and to replace the mask every six months.

Pricing: Although price-points vary and some models are available for as little as $55 to $60, most CPAP full face masks cost between $80 and $150. Please note that full face masks are only available with a doctor’s prescription.

CPAP Machines

Now let’s look at CPAP machines. Like the face masks, CPAP machines are only available with a doctor’s prescription, and cannot be purchased over the counter. If you have sleep apnea, please discuss CPAP machines and other options with your physician.

Irrespective of the mask, CPAP machines feature the following components:

  • Airflow generator and fan: The generator and motorized fan are housed in a small compartment that typically measures about 10 inches long, six inches wide, and six inches high (dimensions vary by model). When the machine is turned on, the generator/fan will suck in air from the room and pressurize it.
  • Humidifier: Some CPAP machines have built-in humidifiers, while other models have humidifier attachments. In either case, this component is filled with distilled water to humidify the air before it is delivered to the user. The humidifier may hold anywhere from 300 to 450 milliliters (mL) of water — but some CPAP machines do not utilize a humidifier at all.
  • Air filter: The filter collects dust and other allergens to help purify the air. Filters are always replaceable — and should be replaced regularly in order to ensure the air is clean and free of contaminants
  • Connective hose: This component connects the generator box to the face mask at the elbow port. It is usually made of transparent plastic, and measures five to six feet in length.

The final component is the face mask, which is sold separately from the CPAP machine.

The operating procedure for a CPAP machine is as follows:

1. Place the machine on a flat, level surface that comfortably reaches the sleeper’s face using the connective hose. Never set a CPAP machine anywhere that presents a risk of falling during the night.
2. To power the machine, plug it into the nearest AC outlet.
3. Make sure the humidifier is filled with distilled water; top off as needed.
4. Secure the connective hose to both the face mask and the generator.
5. Turn on the machine; it should be ready to use immediately.
6. Adjust the settings as needed during the night.

CPAP machines deliver air at a prescribed rate based on the user’s settings; a doctor can help determine the best airflow rate based on the patient’s individual apnea diagnosis. The airflow output of a CPAP machine is measured in centimeters of water, or cmH20. Apnea patients generally need an airflow rate of 6 to 14 cmH20, and most CPAP machines can deliver anywhere from 4 to 20cmH20.

Full Face Masks vs. Other CPAP Mask Types

Next, let’s look at how full face masks compare to other CPAP mask options. In addition to full face masks, CPAP machine users may choose from nasal cradle and nasal pillow mask types. The table below lists similarities and differences between the four most common CPAP mask designs.

CPAP Mask Type Full Face Nasal Cradle Nasal Pillow
Appearance The mask forms a seal that extends from the bridge of the nose to the bottom of the mouth The mask forms a seal that extends from the bridge of the nose to the upper lip May feature a chin-strap that keeps the mouth closed The mask fits into both nostrils, and only covers the area between the tip of the nose and the upper lip
Sizes Available in multiple sizes, as well as men's and women's models Available in multiple sizes, as well as men's and women's models Available in multiple sizes, as well as men's and women's models
Most suitable for... People who require high-pressure air delivery People who breathe through their mouth Back-sleepers People who require high-pressure air delivery People who toss and turn in their sleep Side-sleepers People who do not require high-pressure air delivery People who feel uncomfortable wearing a larger, bulkier mask, as well as those with facial hair
May not be suitable for... Side- or stomach-sleepers (due to the bulky design) People who wear glasses or have facial hair People who breathe through their mouth People with allergies (blocked sinuses can impact the CPAP delivery) People who need CPAP therapy on high-pressure settings People who do not normally breathe out of their nose
Pros Secure straps keep the mask in place if the wearer tosses and turns Good option for people who have trouble breathing through their nose Most effective nasal mask for high-pressure air output (14 cmH20 or higher) Best design for side-sleepers Less expensive than other mask options Lightest and least invasive mask type
Cons Most expensive mask option (on average) Too bulky and heavy for some Can cause irritation in the areas around the face fitting Not suitable for mouth breathers unless a chin-strap is used High discomfort potential on high-pressure CPAP settings Direct air pressure may cause nasal dryness or nosebleeds
Average price range $80 to $150 $80 to $110 $50 to $75

Considerations for Full Face Mask Shoppers

When comparing different CPAP full face mask brands and models, here are a few important factors to keep in mind:

  • What kind of sleep apnea do you have? Although some people with central sleep apnea (CSA) may respond well to CPAP therapy, most of these patients fare better with bi-level positive air pressure, or BiPAP; unlike CPAP machines, which deliver air at a prescribed rate, BiPAP machines deliver air at a variable rate that adjusts to the user’s breathing patterns. Those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), on the other hand, typically respond better to CPAP therapy than BiPAP therapy. Please note that CPAP masks are compatible with most BiPAP machines, as well.
  • What is your prescribed air pressure setting? CPAP full face masks are suitable for all air pressure settings, although those who require low pressure may find that nasal bridge masks are less invasive (and cheaper) than full face masks.
  • What is your budget? CPAP full face masks tend to be more expensive than nasal masks, and usually cost at least $80 (although select models may be sold for as little as $60 or less). This baseline price is comparable to that of nasal cradle masks, but higher than that of nasal pillows. If you are on a smaller budget, then a nasal pillow mask may be the best option.
  • What sizes are available? Most CPAP full face masks are available in three standard sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. Additionally, some models are available in ‘for him’ and ‘for her’ sizes. Please note that some full face masks feature the same headgear dimensions regardless of the mask size, while others will feature larger headgear for larger sizes.
  • How is the headgear secured? Most full face masks straps feature hook-and-loop closures, which are commonly found on shoes. However, these closures come undone more easily and may not be secure enough for some users. Alternatively, models may feature buckles that are adjusted using dials that tighten or loosen the forehead and jaw straps at the same time. Buckles may be too tight for some, but offer more security.
  • Is headgear included with the mask? Most full face masks include all essential straps, but in some cases the headgear will be sold separately.
  • Does the full face mask offer forehead support? Forehead support refers to the strap that wraps around both temples and attaches to the other strap behind the head. Most full face masks feature this component, but some do not. One downside to forehead support is that is can limit the wearer’s line of sight.
  • Does the headgear feature ‘quick clips’? Quick clips affix the side straps to the mask frame, and allow the user to easily remove the mask without unbuckling or unfastening the straps. Not all CPAP full face masks feature quick clips.
  • What is the cushioning material? The cushion of most full face masks is made from silicone, but other materials like cloth, gel, or foam may be used. The choice between materials comes down to personal preference.
  • Is the cushion replaceable? Cushions tend to deteriorate over time, and may not provide the same level of comfort and pressure relief after continuous wear. Replacing the cushion can help reduce irritation and boost comfort.
  • Does the mask provide circular venting? Circular venting diffusers and can help redirect air away from the mask user and his/her sleep partner for fewer sleep disruptions.
  • Does the manufacturer or retailer offer free return insurance? In the event that you are not satisfied with your CPAP full face mask, some manufacturers and retailers offer free return insurance that allows you to return the product for a full refund at no extra cost. Other manufacturers and retailers do not make this provision.
  • Does the manufacturer or retailer offer a warranty? The warranty of a CPAP full face mask typically extends 90 days or more, and allows owners to replace or repair defective mask parts as needed. Some manufacturers and retailers do not offer product warranties for their CPAP full face masks. Additionally, the mask frame and headgear may be covered under different warranties.

Full Face CPAP Mask Prescription FAQs

Prescription requirements for CPAP face masks and other components can be confusing. In this next section, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about CPAP prescriptions.

Do I need a prescription for CPAP machines? You don't need a prescription for the entire CPAP machine – just three key parts. Sleep apnea patients require a doctor's prescription to legally purchase CPAP airflow generators, humidifiers, and face masks. These three components are categorized as Class II medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other CPAP machine parts, including connective hoses and air filters, do not hold this FDA classification. They can be purchased over the counter.
Why do I need a prescription for these CPAP components? Prescriptions for CPAP equipment are important for two main reasons. First, CPAP machines – as well as BiPAP and APAP machines – are customized for individual users. Doctors prescribe airflow settings based on evaluations that determine the patient's optimal pressure delivery level(s). If that patient uses a machine that is not calibrated to the correct setting, he or she may not experience relief from their sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, symptoms may worsen. The second reason is insurance purposes. Although patients don't need medical insurance to buy CPAP equipment, insurance companies require a prescription to cover device costs for those who can't afford to buy them out-of-pocket.
Will anyone sell me a Class II medical device without a prescription? Yes, but they are breaking the law – and so are you. The FDA regulates the sale of Class II medical devices, and those who sell these devices must receive FDA approval to do so. According to current FDA regulations, medical device sellers must demand a prescription from customers attempting to buy CPAP generators, humidifiers, or face masks. Most non-prescription CPAP transactions are coordinated through private online sales. In addition to being illegal, transactions of this nature typically involve used, refurbished, and/or modified machines. These devices can pose health risks to the buyer, including complications due to using improperly calibrated equipment and exposure to germs and bacteria from previous users. Quality assurance is another consideration; buyers have no assurance the machine operates properly, nor will they receive warranty coverage.
How do I obtain a prescription for FDA-regulated CPAP equipment? In order to qualify for a CPAP prescription, patients must receive a sleep apnea diagnosis from one of the following licensed or certified professionals:
  • - Medical physician or physician's assistant
  • - Doctor of osteopathy
  • - Naturopathic physician
  • - Nurse practitioner
  • - M.D. psychiatrist
  • - Dentist
Most CPAP device sellers do not normally accept prescriptions from chiropractors, optometrists, or psychologists. The physician may diagnose the patient on the spot or issue them a home sleep test (HST). Alternatively, the physician may refer the patient to a sleep disorder specialist, who may also issue an HST. Specialists may also conduct polysomnography sleep tests at their office. According to the Mayo Clinic, polysomnography tests record brain waves, blood oxygen levels, eye movements, and other diagnostic data. The HST is the less invasive option but it also tends to yield inconclusive results. As a result, some patients may undergo both the HST and polysomnography tests.
What does my CPAP prescription need to say? In order to legally purchase a CPAP machine, the prescription must include the following:
  • - A full name and signature of the prescription writer, along with contact information
  • - The patient's full name
  • - The patient's specific sleep apnea diagnosis (OSA, CSA, or MSA) and optimal pressure setting.
Lastly, the prescription must use verbatim the terms 'CPAP' or 'continuous positive air pressure,' or 'BiPAP' or 'bi-level positive air pressure.'

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